2021 High School Football Previews: Philip Barbour Colts


PHILIPPI, W.Va – The Philip Barbour Colts have gone winless for the past three seasons. But the Colts aren’t looking at the past, in fact, they’re rebranding.

Nick Mayle, who previously served as the offensive coordinator for the past four seasons, took the reins of the young Colts team and is instilling a new mindset.

“We’re not looking in the rearview mirror. Our slogan is tradition begins today. So everyday we’re trying to start something new. We’re not basing how we are based on last year or the years before so we’re looking forward, looking ahead at what we’re going to do today and tomorrow, not what we did yesterday,” Mayle said.

This is the biggest roster size Mayle has seen in a while. The Colts roster is pushing 40 players and that allows there to be an open competition to fill starting roles.

“That’s a good thing that we have this year. We actually have competition in various positions so that’s pushing kids to get better. That’s definitely a positive,” Mayle said.

As for what the Colts have on the roster, size is a big factor on the line and junior lineman Kemper Longwell said that will go a long way as well as the line’s chemistry.

“Most of us have played together our whole lives. So we’re trying to build even better chemistry than what we have but right now the chemistry is really good.  We have to get tough, we have to get angry. We have a lot of really nice guys but now that we’re in pads that’s going to change,” Longwell said.

It’s time to change the culture on this team. And the Colts are changing it to a winning one.

Senior multi-position player Jesiah Matlick is one of the team’s experienced leaders who can help do that and he has a whole team behind him.

“We’re doing everything we can, putting in extra work, making sure everybody is on task, doing everything that they can.  Putting in work in the weight room, sprints, conditioning, everything,” Matlick said.

A winless season? That’s in the past in the Colts’ mind. A new season starts with a bye week in week one followed by an away game at Clay County on September 3.

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